Saturday, August 31, 2013


I think I had counted all of the rivet heads on the back of the semi trailer ahead of me at least a dozen times, or at least it seemed like it. To say that traffic was moving rather slowly would be a massive understatement. We were not moving AT ALL!
We usually don’t get too many traffic jams up here in north central Wisconsin, so when we do, it's usually something bad. Like one time a cattle truck tipped over near Fleet Farm in Waupaca. That was a much smaller traffic jam and was kind of fun actually, weaving back and forth between all the cows like a slalom skier at the winter Olympics. This time wasn’t nearly as much fun. 90+ degrees, diesel fumes, overheating cars and absolutely no air movement whatsoever. Joy.
I was on my way to visit a young friend in Oshkosh who had been struggling a lot lately. I had hoped to see my friend around 5:00 so I could also make my daughter-in-law's birthday party. And it was beginning to sink itnthat I probably wasn't going to make ANY of those meetings.

As I sat there in my little car, sandwiched between two smoke-belching semi's, I texted a few friends about my predicament and word of what was happening ahead of me on the road began to filter in.

There was a police stand off ON the road in front of us. Apparently, two people had robbed a nearby liquor store and police had them surrounded under an overpass on the highway a few miles down the road.

I kept watching the clock, watching the minutes tick by. Minutes I would not be spending with my young friend or my family. Suddenly a car passed me on the right, which was weird because I was in the right lane! They had clearly grown tired of waiting and were willing to take a chance by passing cars by driving on the shoulder. Probably illegal. Jerk.

Well, I sat there for another half hour, still thinking about my friend who was waiting. I REALLY wanted to see her so . . . I became that jerk and took off down the shoulder. I didn't get too far. A couple of rather large trucks were playing traffic cop and had pulled to the right, trying to prevent people from doing what I was doing. Well, they should have tried harder. I dropped two wheels down into the ditch and passed them. Ha! And then I had to stop. Log jam. Three lanes of rush hour traffic (and my fourth lane) were all exiting at once. Not good but I finally made it though the mess to see my friend. Only an hour and 45 minutes late. Seeing the smile on my friends face made all the days frustrating events disappear. It was all worth it.

Later that night, after arriving back home I discovered that the two armed robbers that had caused the traffic jam had killed themselves in their car rather than face prosecution and prison. How incredibly sad. And do you know what I was thinking? The first thing that popped into my head was, "I wonder if they knew Jesus?"

It's bad enough to rob a liquor store. It was bad enough that they "held up" thousands of people by their actions. It was bad enough that things got to the point where, suddenly, death seemed like it was the only option. Yet, for as bad as all those events and actions were, they simply do not compare to facing death without a saving faith in Jesus Christ - eternal separation from God.

Are you familiar with the story of Lazarus? Not the one where Jesus raised him from the dead. That's another good story and one I could have easily referenced here. No, I am talking about the other Lazarus story - Lazarus and The Rich Man. You can read the whole story here. But the verse I want to hi-lite today is verse 27. The Rich man had lived out his life, not caring about his fellow man, only about himself. But when the time of his death came, he found himself in hell - eternally separated from God. The rich man pleaded with God to send Lazarus to warn his brothers about what awaits them if they don't repent.

"27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’" - Luke 16:27

Who, in your life today, does not know Jesus? Are you content in the knowledge that if SOMEBODY doesn't introduce them to Jesus, they're going to be standing next to The Rich Man in hell? We have to at least try!

About a year ago a young man from our town named Austin took his own life. I don't know if he knew Jesus or not. Many of his friends still grieve massively over the loss of their friend. How many of them have I told about Jesus? A few I guess. But have I really pressed the issue? No. My friends, I can almost hear Jesus asking me, "Why not, Bob? After all that I have done for you? I am STILL not worthy of a word to those that are perishing?"

I might as well be pulling the trigger myself.

I would encourage you today to take that step, in faith, and show someone how much you love them by telling them about Jesus. Show them the love of Christ by revealing the light that shines within you. We who have been saved are no longer of this world. Why do we still act like it?
"23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him." - John 8:23-30

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